April 11, 2022

Representative Grier Hopkins
  Representative Grier Hopkins getting ready to present HB 220 to the House Finance Committee on March 8th. Public testimony will be taken this Thursday.

HB 220 -- During a special legislative session in 2005, SB 141 passed the House by one vote. That vote closed the Defined Benefit Retirement Plan for all new employees hired after July 1, 2006. Today, more than 30,000 current employees working for municipalities, school districts, the state of Alaska, the court system, and the university do not have a secure pension. Instead, they have a Defined Contribution Plan (PERS Tier IV or TRS Tier III) that will not provide a steady retirement income.

This uncertainty is contributing to recurring recruitment and retention problems across the spectrum including educators, state troopers, firefighters, and support staff. Many employees only stay until they reach five years of employment when they are eligible to collect the employer contributions then leave.

If passed, HB 220 would give employees the option of joining a new Defined Benefit Retirement Plan (PERS Tier V/TRS Tier IV) or the current Defined Contribution Plan.

Representative Grier Hopkins’ legislation seeks to provide some retirement certainty while controlling a possible unfunded liability in the future. As written, HB 220 provides the following:

The House Finance Committee will take public testimony on HB 220 at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 14th. You may share your thoughts by emailing hfin@akleg.gov and Representative.Grier.Hopkins@akleg.gov; attending the hearing on the 5th floor of the capitol; or phoning in to 907-563-9085 (Anchorage), 586-9085 (Juneau), or 844-586-9085. Contact your local LIO if you need assistance.